Get ready for vampires that are all grown up.
As the CW readies to launch The Originals, the spin-off to its hit series The Vampire Diaries, executive producer Julie Plec says the important difference between the two series is the maturity of the characters.
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"The way we like to look at it is that we had an audience grow up with us [on The Vampire Diaries] for four years and it was a coming-of-age story with first love and struggles as vampires," Plec told reporters at the Television Critics Association fall TV previews on Tuesday. "Originals is a show that is not about struggling as a vampire, but reveling in it. It's about embracing vampirism."
The Originals follows Vampire Diaries fan-favorite Original vampire Klaus (Joseph Morgan), who, along with his brother Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and sister Rebekah (Claire Holt), return to New Orleans, the city they once built. There, Klaus reunites with his former protégé Marcel (Charles Michael Davis ), who now rules New Orleans and has managed to create an inner circle of vampires and witches who follow his rules. Although Klaus hesitates about whether or not to remain in the Big Easy, he learns that his one-night stand Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is pregnant with a baby that could become heir to Klaus' future throne.
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Although the new series steeped with so much history, mythology and relationships from its mothership series, Plec says her goal is to establish a new audience and create a show that could stand on its own without The Vampire Diaries.
"It's one of the most difficult tasks, but the most important," she says. "How do we create a show that ... can draw in audience that hasn't seen Vampire Diaries and capture and audience that can be a different group of people? [This] is like apples and oranges, and we make sure that a new audience can feel like this is a new show and that they're joining in for the first time."
But that doesn't mean the shows won't cross over."What we would like be able to do is establish a show that works as its own and then as the story dictates have a little bit of a crossover," Plec says. "We don't want to pretend those [previous] relationships never existed."
With a new show comes some notable changes for Klaus. "We're used to Klaus coming in with a bull-in-the-china-shop mentality, but Marcel has an army of vampires," Morgan says. "He's running the city and has the witches under his control. That in itself is a challenge. He'll have to employ manipulative backstabbing methods to take back the throne."
And he'll certainly have fun doing it. "There are more vampire parties and crazy indulgence," Morgan says. "It's like The Lost Boys: party all night and sleep all day."
The Originals premieres on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 9/8c on The CW.
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